Book 7, Chapter 117

Flesh Furnace

The black armour of the battle drone was emanating a blue glow, his mask formed in a demonic manner with sharp horns twisted around into barbs. The tips were glimmering an icy blue, making it clear that this wasn’t just a regular ornament. The chestpiece also had blue symbols flickering on it, making it look mysterious and powerful.

It truly did live up to the image. Below the surface of the armour was a live tissue similar to a living creature’s tendons, binding the armour together and also connected to the stream of nutrition for its upkeep. If needed, the armour could move around.

What surprised Richard was the quality of the frostiron in the armour; there was some sort of other metal mixed inside that made it more sturdy than the base, and it also merged perfectly with the drone as though it had been born that way. The armour alone was only a step short of being epic grade.

“This is an optimisation I came up with after combining many races,” the broodmother explained, “Your need for humanoids dropped its power by a quarter, but it is still very powerful. I call it the winter soldier; these full elites are level 17, but normal soldiers are 15 and regular elites are 16. Just as before, only the elites will be able to link to you directly so we reduce costs and your own burden.”

“Mm,” Richard nodded before walking over and knocking on the armour, “What’s with this?”

“Another achievement I wanted to show you. After awakening my truename, I obtained the ability to analyse laws. With the remains you sent me, I managed to make a few breakthroughs and add metal to my products. Get on, let me show you something.”

A cloned brain flew over, and after he hopped on it sent him deeper into the Land of Turmoil. After flying for a dozen or so kilometres, they came upon an enormous building that was hundreds of metres in circumference. However, Richard soon noticed the entire structure was pulsing ever so slowly, and despite the worker drones sending all sorts of materials in and out the various doors, he couldn’t sense any other life there.

Most of the output from the building was waste and slag, but a few of the worker drones were slowly transporting metallic ingots out in long rows. There were a few other doors where the workers only entered once every few minutes, taking out sets of armour or weaponry that was the same alloy as what he had seen on the winter soldier.

This wasn’t a building but a creature, an enormous one that was constantly absorbing different materials to spit out metal ingots and even equipment!

“This is a flesh furnace,” the broodmother explained, “I can refine most metals I know inside it, but its internal processes mimic digestion instead of a traditional furnace, As my control over the laws of metal is enhanced, the types of metal this furnace can purify will increase. There might even be a day when I can process the auvitrum. The furnace is currently being fuelled by a small frostiron mine under the Land of Turmoil, but that vein can only support one more in the future. If you wish to increase production, you will have to bring in material from other regions.”

Looking at the giant furnace, Richard was rendered speechless for a few minutes. Compared to this, the workshops he and Noelene controlled in Norland seemed childish. Even in Norland, this was a considerable scale. Most importantly, the flesh furnace showcased a model of mass production that only the central furnace of the duergar could compare to.

However, the grey dwarven furnace was constructed above a pond of magma, and building it had taken decades. On the other hand, this flesh furnace had evidently been grown in a matter of a dozen or so days. There was simply no comparison.

While the cloned brain was transporting Richard back to the broodmother’s platform, she transmitted a large amount of information consisting of various types of troops for him to choose from. Most were the same basic ones he had with new features, and as he gave ideas she evaluated the construction costs for them.

There were three more examples from her still waiting on the platform. One of them looked like a tall warhorse, but it had claws instead of hooves and a strangely long neck. This wasn’t even a mount, exactly; its true value lay in the arrows stored within its throat that it could launch over five hundred metres away. Each unit could store fifty arrows, and within range could pierce through full plate.

The broodmother called this drone the arrowbeast, a design specifically meant to bolster Richard’s long-range capabilities with a dedicated force. It was also an extremely good idea; be it in Norland or Faelor; such troops were second only to mage regiments.

The attacks of the arrowbeast were a threat even to a level 14 shadowspear, but the level 12 creature only consumed the materials of a level 10 drone. The broodmother could create thirty of them in a day, needing only a month to give him a terrifying ranged army.

In the same vein of thought was a humanoid archer, using common bows and arrows. The range was comparable, but these drones didn’t have as much sheer power and they took more to make. At the same time, they would need to rest after a hundred shots; the arrowbeasts could do double that if they were being resupplied.

The broodmother’s archers were certainly better than most human elites, but they were also weaker than the arrowbeasts and could only be spawned at 24 in a day. When the broodmother reached level 12, she could even put her larval forest to the task of creating arrowbeasts, but would need to wait another level for the archers. It would take much more time for him to get a sizeable army.

The last drone type really piqued his interest. The example was a dozen times smaller than the original and called the flying wasp, similar to the chrysalides but even more clumsy. In their full state, they could be nearly a hundred metres long while retaining the ability to fly through a light gas they emitted in their bodies. This design wasn’t even quick, but it was large enough to transport several dozen tonnes of supplies and fly more than ten days for every feeding. In large wars, they were invaluable.

Eventually, Richard decided to greenlight the winter soldiers, arrowbeasts, and wasps. He also asked the broodmother to make a second flesh furnace as soon as possible that was meant to refine the frostiron ore from the Iron Triangle Empire. He would sell the refined ingots back in Norland, earning over 10,000 gold coins for every tonne. With the output of a single furnace, he could earn around three to four million gold every month, an amount that he could reinvest into more elites or upgrade the equipment of his followers such that all of them had epic-grade equipment for everything.

As he left the Land of Turmoil, the broodmother’s voice resounded in his mind, “Master, I anticipate standing at the peak of many planes by your side.”

Still young himself, Richard couldn’t help the fire that started burning in his chest. He patted the cloned brain under his feet, immediately having it change directions to fly quickly towards Duke Zabal’s territory.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Ying

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA